Total newbie - heating 3/16" steel with Map-Pro (Worthington WK5500)
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  1. #1

    Total newbie - heating 3/16" steel with Map-Pro (Worthington WK5500)

    Hi guys, just discovered this forum and am brand spanking new to this.

    I've been trying to heat 3/16" x approx 2" steel so I can shape it into a bracket, which I originally made out of approx. 1/16" metal and was way too flimsy. So I have that as a prototype, and want now to recreate it with this thicker steel.

    I've tried propane and literally 20 minutes later, still no colour change.

    My first question is, after having read the instructions, and watched their YouTube video (and a whole bunch of other welding/brazing videos), is - they say how to get the flame to solder, and to weld, and to cut, but not how to heat. Which one would I use to heat-and-bend?

    Reason I ask is I would be inclined to use the welding settings, but with such a small amount of oxygen available, I don't want to be using more than I need. I only have one tank right now lol

    My second question is approx. how far should the flame be from the metal I'm heating?

    I know I have a lot to learn, and I will be reading this forum religiously as I am hoping to get good enough to do things like make/modify motorcycle gas tanks etc. - so lots to learn

    Though I don't plan on anything structural/high load so I hope I can avoid going to TIG/MIG (I rent and there's probably no way to get high amperage 220V here), but at some point I am OK to switch to oxy/acetylene if I start getting good.

    And an evening/weekend college course is in order if I find myself enjoying this

    Thanks kindly.
    Shawn

  2. #2
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    Re: Total newbie - heating 3/16" steel with Map-Pro (Worthington WK5500)

    That's way too little torch to be heating 3/16", especially in open air. A pair of turbo-type propane torches would probably do better for less $. I was surprised how long it took to heat a narrow line on a 1/8" x 6" piece with a Victor #2 O/A welding tip.

    If you rent, I'm sure your landlord and his/your insurance company would have a problem with you storing Acetylene on the premises.
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  3. #3

    Re: Total newbie - heating 3/16" steel with Map-Pro (Worthington WK5500)

    Thanks Oldendum. If I can get away with oxy/map that's great, but it sounds like I shouldn't even bother trying? It won't heat 3/16"? So that's two torch kits I've bought now that I can't use lol.

    I never thought about insurance. My landlord is cool so hopefully this map setup is ok to him...

    Do I need to get it red hot to bend? Or is putting 'some' heat, even if not enough, going to help in bending it with a bit of muscle? I can't budge it cold.

  4. #4
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    Re: Total newbie - heating 3/16" steel with Map-Pro (Worthington WK5500)

    Dull red will help, and that will slightly soften cold-rolled steel. Oxy/MAPP or Oxy/propane is great, but you need a big enough rig. One of those cheap propane weed burners will put out a lot of heat. Blowing some air through a charcoal fire will generate a lot of heat, too.

    "USMCPOP" First-born son: KIA Iraq 1/26/05
    Syncrowave 250 w/ Coolmate 3
    Dialarc 250
    Idealarc 250
    SP-175 +
    TA 161 STL
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    Victor & Smith O/A torches
    Miller spot welder
    Clausing 5904 lathe
    Wells-Index 745 mill

  5. #5
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    Re: Total newbie - heating 3/16" steel with Map-Pro (Worthington WK5500)

    Curious if a bender would make the bends you are looking for. Then you could save you gas for welding or brazing. Does that torch even have the capacity for welding 3/16"? However, if you braze you could set up in a firebrick oven to hold in some heat.

    I don't think the flame is large enough to efficiently heat 3/16"x 2"wide x ? piece of metal .

    Many years ago, I built a bicycle (braze) with one of those benzomatic setups. It still wasn't the right tool for that, flame too concentrated.

    Good luck

  6. #6
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    Re: Total newbie - heating 3/16" steel with Map-Pro (Worthington WK5500)

    I got one of those tiny torches when I was 12 or so. You can solder with it, thats bout it. And the Oxy dosen't last but a few minutes. Even jewelers use bigger torches. I'd recommend a real torch not a hardware store toy. If you cant afford it try a googling ( Bernzomatic 19425 JT850 ). Its the most BTU you can get from those disposeable propane bottles
    Lincolin Power Wave 450, Lincoln Powermig 255, Lincoln Squarewave Tig 275, Miller Big 40 G(with Hobart Hefty suitcase), Thermal Arc 95S and Esab PCM875 in an already full machine shop.

  7. #7
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    Re: Total newbie - heating 3/16" steel with Map-Pro (Worthington WK5500)

    If you have a charcoal Barbecue and a hairdryer for air supply, You can get that steel red hot quite rapidly. with just a small amount of fire danger. But it would be a wood fire so could be extinguished with water. Mac

  8. #8
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    Re: Total newbie - heating 3/16" steel with Map-Pro (Worthington WK5500)

    Specs say this one is only good for 1.25".....but would something down this line work for you?

    http://www.harborfreight.com/compact-bender-38470.html
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  9. #9

    Re: Total newbie - heating 3/16" steel with Map-Pro (Worthington WK5500)

    Thanks for all the responses guys.

    According to the packaging, IIRC, I should be able to braze 3/16" but there is no mention of bending.

    For this project, I've decided to use the thinner guage steel I have, that I CAN bend, and double-up on the bracket (It's a coil bracket that is maybe 4x6x1.5" so I don't know if I could use the bender linked above with the 3/16" stuff?). I am thinking if I make the top part of the bracket a smaller outer diameter than the lower part it will butt against, I can braze it together and strengthen with a couple of stainless bolts.

    It's basically what I did with this tank bracket I just made (you can see it's two sheets sandwiched together, with the added strength of the top one being bent into the bottom one in the front, and two brass screws), except this one uses JB Weld and I really don't want to do that again lol:





    That bender above might come in handy for the sissy bar I want to make

    I will also talk to my landlord about using coal out in the backyard, I've always wanted to make a little forge I seem to recall Toronto has strict rules against using coal in an apartment (ie on a balcony), but this would be outside in a backyard, so I dunno. Will ask

    I won't waste my time trying to bend anything with the map/oxy...will concentrate on learning how to braze with it instead

    Thanks again for the help...

    Shawn
    Last edited by dafy; 08-14-2012 at 09:26 AM. Reason: typos and more typos

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